The day after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet (shown, left) left Caracas, Venezuelan Marxist dictator Nicolás Maduro thumbed his nose at her investigation and ordered the arrest, torture, and murder of a supporter of the opposition party. According to his family’s lawyer, Navy Captain Rafael Acosta, age 49, was healthy and in good spirits the day before he was arrested. Local media were allowed to see his body afterwards, reporting that it showed signs of having been subjected to “extreme force, had been starved of oxygen, and had suffered severe beatings and electrocution.”
He was just one of the more than 9,000 people Maduro has executed over the last 18 months. This explains how the communist thug has managed to stay in power: through threats, intimidation, torture, and murder.
That was why Bachelet was there: to investigate Maduro’s methods of enforcing his illegitimate reign. The surprise was how harsh the 16-page report was in light of her previous determination to say nothing critical about Maduro. After all, she served as president of Chile for eight years, a position she achieved with the help of the Communist Party of Chile.
She and her staff conducted 558 interviews with victims and their families and other witnesses of Maduro’s human rights “violations” and ended her report with this:
For over a decade, Venezuela has adopted and implemented a series of laws, policies and practices, which have restricted the democratic space, weakened public institutions, and affected the independence of the judiciary. Although these measures have been adopted with the declared aim of preserving public order and national security against alleged internal and external threats, they have increased the militarization of State institutions and the use of the civilian population in intelligence gathering and defense tasks.
This context has enabled the Government to commit numerous human rights violations. The authorities have particularly targeted certain individuals and groups, including members of the political opposition and those perceived as threats to the Government due to their capacity to articulate critical positions and to mobilize others. This targeted repression manifests itself in a multitude of human rights violations, which may amount to persecution on political grounds….
Thousands of people, mainly young men, have been killed in alleged confrontations with state forces during the past years.
We will spare readers the horrific details of the torture, with this exception: The “death squads” are Maduro’s Special Action Forces, which, masked and dressed in black, careen into town in pickup trucks without license plates, break into a home where a suspected member of the opposition lives, grab the young man and execute him in front of his family. Then they stage it by shooting up the place to make it look like he was resisting arrest. On the way out they sexually attack any female who might be present. Message delivered: Don’t mess with Maduro!
Bachelet estimates that more than 2,000 citizens have been arrested “for political reasons” in the first five months of this year, with some 720 of them still unaccounted for.
The question remains: Will the revulsion following the release of this report by the United Nations be sufficient to galvanize enough pressure to remove Maduro before he tortures and murders more of his own people?
Photo of Maduro meeting with Bachelet: AP Images